Need to exercise self control over your raging facebook habit? There’s an app for that. At least if you’re a Mac user with OS X there is. Apparently, the same guy that created the brilliant New York Times spoof proclaiming the end of the Iraq War has now put his considerable talents into creating a way for people to figuratively slap their own hands — should those hands be reaching for the cookie jar of cached sites they visit when they should be working. All you have to do is establish a list of sites you need to keep yourself from visiting, set the timer and press the button. Voila! Instant self control. Of course, you can always force quit the program if you decide you just can’t take the pressure of tabling your Twitter or benching your boing boing habit. Still, there is something about the idea of our own machines controlling how we use them and what we use them for that smacks of a certain snarky supercomputer with a three letter name, not to mention a little movie made by the brothers Wachowski just a few years ago. After all, if we can’t control ourselves on the computer, it’s only a matter of time before the computers start to control us. That’s why, when it comes to the Self Control App, I think I’ll take the Red Pill. I do have Vista after all.
So, today is nuts at work, and time to blog is scarce. That said, this post from one of my favorite peeps/tweeps (twitter+peeps=tweeps, duh), is awesome-as-usual. So, in lieu of blogging on my own, I simply present the link to this blog post as my blog post. Very meta, I know.
Reporting for profit? That’s a new idea. At least to those of us who spent most of college desperately trying to stretch newspaper salaries to cover the essential collegiate trifecta of tuition, rent and beer. Most of us ended up deciding not to go into journalism after graduation, choosing instead to pursue careers in everything from event planning to teaching and, of course, my choice — navigating the intricacies of the interwebs. Why did we decide not to make our livelihoods as globe-trotting, fedora-wearing newsies? Simply put, nobody thought there would be much of a livelihood to be had in that industry. In fact, even the two Daily Nexus coworkers I had who graduated hell-bent on finding work in belly of that dying beast known as journalism eventually ended up giving up. One of them is a production assistant at a TV show now, the other is wasting her considerable talents at a small-town newspaper, desperate to escape and looking to the LSATS to get her out of news and into a career that might actually afford her the luxury of being able to pay for groceries without a credit card. Clearly, it’s time for the journalism industry to come to terms with changing tastes, shifting paradigms and groundbreaking new technologies. The music and movie moguls have to do that too, not to mention the folks sitting in their Time Warner offices who seem to think I’m not going to cancel my cable subscription the second my iPhone gets full flash capabilities. But, I have to admit, there’s something kind of icky about the idea of a pay-for-play news service, where the people get to “sit in on the editorial meetings.” Having worked at many newspapers over the last few years, and having grown up with two parents who were in the news business, I have to admit that I do have a bit of a bias about ‘journalism by the people.’ There’s something to be said for the fact that professional journalists are just that — professionals. They know how to separate fact from opinion, how to differentiate a real news story from a publicity-hungry press release, how to tell the difference between a credible source and one that’s not, how to tell a story from all angles and — perhaps most importantly — how to string a sentence together. How much of those things will we have to give up when we start letting the people who can afford to pay for the news dictate how the news is written? Or what it’s written about? Sure, I love the idea of reporters finally making a little money off their reportage, but before we start letting just anyone in the on ed-board meeting, maybe we should think about why the meetings were closed-door in the first place.
Happy NCAA DAY!!!
I spent most of my life not caring about college basketball. Don’t get me wrong, I love basketball in general. In fact, aside from waterpolo (which might as well be the official pasttime of my hometown), basketball is really the only sport I’ve ever followed closely, watched regularly and played often. But, being a diehard Lakers fan, I was usually so focused on Vlade, Pau, Kobe, Eddie and Magic (I’m talking over the years, of course), that I never paid much attention to what was going on in the NCAA. All of that changed when I started dating a hardcore basketball fan, whose own basketball allegiances were strictly of the collegiate kind. In fact, he and his father refer to the Lakers game that we recently attended as sacrilege. This guy worships at the altar of all things NCAA. To him, the NBA is a false idol — bloated, flashy and far less important than college basketball. It was Tyler who got me started watching college basketball games, and it’s Tyler who I have to thank for showing me how much fast-paced, frenetic and fraught with emotion those games are. I have to admit, I’ve become a bit of an NCAA convert. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always love my Lakers. And Pau Gasol is still the sexiest thing the hardwood has to offer. But, there’s just something about the energy and emotion of an NCAA game that makes it infinitely more exciting to watch. I guess Obama agrees with me, because this is his bracket for the big tournament — big news on ESPN this week. Being such a recent convert to collegiate basketball, I don’t feel sure enough of any of my opinions on the topic to write them down in any sort of public way. But, apparently, I’m not the only one who isn’t 100% sure, since Obama’s bracket is messier than the confirmation process for Commerce Secretary. I have to admit, it’s kind of nice to see the Commander in Chief showing a human side for a change. Nice to know that even the legend that is Barack Obama has to deal with doubting himself. It almost makes me want to fill out my own bracket. Or at least root for the Tar Heels — if only because Obama picked them to win.
So, I’m home sick from work for the second day in a row. And by the way, the uncontrollable coughing is the reason I haven’t posted in a few days. So, in honor of my sick day, I found this uber-cheesy montage of scenes from the ultimate feeling-sick-flick. Enjoy.
This is the very first thing I’ve ever written in html
Things I Want To Do this Weekend (in no particular order, I promise mom)
- Get over my cold
- Go to the beach
- Read some of Kavalier & Clay
- Catch up on all the magazines I keep getting & not having time to read
- Play with some of the new improvements we’ve made to our site
- See my family
- Finally deal with my taxes
- Work on the scarf I’m knitting
Sometimes, it’s Friday. And on those days, it’s nice to have a side of funny with my lunch. Especially if I can’t taste my Fresh & Easy jambalaya because I have a cold. So, with no further ado, here’s a peek at my lunch-time entertainment. Thanks, Digg.
I work on the eleventh floor, in an office with windows covered in the giant, sticky-paper ads that not only render them unopenable but also give every view this sickly blackish tint. The lighting is functionally fluorescent, and the furniture is the desk-and-chair equivalent of pre-fab housing. It’s easy to feel totally separated from the outside world, sealed up in a hermetic bubble of bright lights and clattering keyboards. It usually hits me in the early afternoon, when the desire to breathe uncirculated air manages to push past the hectic whirlwhind of my morning mind. That’s when I need to take a second and look at something pretty. Something soothing. Something other than the site we’ve been working on. And once again, on this all-too-normal Thursday afternoon, DesignSponge came through for me. This time offering up this beautiful bouquet of bright yellow daffodils. Light. Airy. Sunshine-y. Just what I need to remind me that the weekend is on its way, and the little weather app on my iPhone says it’s going to be in the seventies. Beach, here I come. Laptop, hold down the fort at home.